Gun Trusts

NFA Gun Trusts for Maine and Massachusetts - Red Dog Legal

Looking for a gun trust lawyer in Maine or Massachusetts?  Well, look no further! Gun owners in Maine, Massachusetts and throughout New England have come to rely on Red Dog Legal to help them create comprehensive and affordable NFA gun trusts.  In addition to Massachusetts and Maine gun trusts, we also offer New Hampshire gun trusts and Vermont gun trusts with local co-counsel.  

Why You Should Work with Us to Create Your Maine or Massachusetts Gun Trust

As the market-leader in providing lawyer-drafted Maine and Massachusetts gun trusts, Red Dog Legal has prepared hundreds of NFA trusts for our clients since 2014. We can provide valuable know-how that general estate planners lack. 

When working with us to create your gun trust, you'll get support from an experienced Maine and Massachusetts NFA lawyer.  This isn't possible when using a DIY gun trust service.  Furthermore, these cheap "do-it-your-self" gun trusts cannot be customized for your individual situation, nor do they address the specific legal requirements unique to ownership of firearms in Massachusetts.

Our low flat fee includes comprehensive services, including support with the ATF submission process (Form 1 or Form 4).  And unlike many of our competitors, our firearms trusts can be used for conventional firearms as well as NFA items!  This has estate planning benefits. There's simply no reason to draft a Maine or Massachusetts gun trust in a way that would prevent a settlor from contributing non-NFA guns to the trust – other than an opportunity to "up-sell" you on a more expensive trust. 

Our low flat fee includes legal guidance by an experienced Maine/Massachusetts NFA lawyer.  We will help you select the right terms for your NFA trust, draft a comprehensive suite of gun trust documents, provide guidance on signing and funding your gun trust, as well as the ATF application process.  We know that submitting your first NFA application can be intimidating (especially Form 1 for making an NFA item, such as an SBR), and that's why our flat fee includes legal guidance and support, not just documents.

Considering working with someone else?  Ask them how many gun trusts they've drafted.  Gun trusts are our specialtyOr maybe it’s about price?  Well, we'll match the price of any trust drafted by a licensed gun trust lawyer in Maine or Mass.


Additional Resources

Scroll down for more information regarding gun trusts, including updates on the efile process for trusts and a helpful NFA trust FAQ.  We're also happy to help with amending gun trusts, assisting with the Form 5 submission process (if you've inherited an NFA firearm), and other unique situations.

Update: eForms is Back! Time for that SBR You’ve Wanted?

The ATF is once again accepting electronic "efile" Form 1 applications on their eForms platform.  Approvals for electronically filed Form 1 applications by gun trusts (for making SBRs and other NFA items) are now averaging around sixty days.  This means that firearms owners in Maine and Massachusetts can now get their NFA stamps much faster than in recent memory.  Please contact us with any questions about how to e-file your NFA application using your Maine or Massachusetts gun trust!


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a list of commonly asked questions. If you don't see your question or would like additional information.  Contact us!

What Information Do You Need from Me to Get Started on My Gun Trust? 

We've streamlined our process to make creating your gun trust as easy as possible.  While its usually best to start the engagement with a phone call to answer questions you may have and to get an overview of the process, some clients prefer to get started right away.  At minimum, we'll need the following information to draft your NFA trust:

  • your full name;
  • your physical address;
  • a name for the trust;
  • the name of a successor trustee; and
  • the name of one or more beneficiaries.

I Don't Live in Maine or Massachusetts, Can You Help Me Create a Gun Trust?

Our NFA lawyer is licensed to practice law in Maine and Massachusetts only. However, our NFA gun trusts are suitable for use in all states. Generally speaking, gun trusts are focused on federal law.  Massachusetts is an important exception to this general rule!  If you don't live in Maine or Massachusetts, we may still be able to work with you to create your gun trust, so please contact us. We're happy to work with other lawyers too.

Are Your Maine and Massachusetts Gun Trusts 41F Compliant?

Yes, all of our NFA trusts are compliant with ATF Rule 41F.  Furthermore, only the settlors and actively serving trustees of our trusts are considered "responsible persons" under Rule 41F.

Who Can Be a Trustee of My Maine or Massachusetts Gun Trust?

For Maine gun trusts, New Hampshire gun trusts, and Vermont gun trusts, any person 18 or older and not a prohibited person can be a trustee. For Mass gun trusts, all actively serving trustees (excluding the successor trustee) must have their LTC. Note that this requirement only applies if the applicable trustee is a Massachusetts resident.

What if I Need to Amend My NFA Trust?

We provide forms for adding and removing trustees, adding property to your trust, documenting funding of your trust, and a written statement for responsible persons acquiring firearms (to be provided to FFLs when you purchase firearms on behalf of the trust).  By providing these forms to you, we provide you with the means to make some of the more common changes to your gun trust, without incurring additional expense. 

Other common changes to your trust, such as changing the governing law (when you move to a different state), changing the successor trustee or beneficiary, or removing a settlor/grantor, are best done by a lawyer.  If we drafted your gun trust, we can make most changes for a low price.  We're happy to review and amend trusts prepared by other lawyers or even DIY gun trusts, but be advised that these usually involve a little more review and sometimes substantial changes.  Therefore the price can be higher.  Contact us today to get a quote on amending your NFA trust.

Do Your NFA Trusts Use a Schedule of Assets or An Assignment Page?

Our trust uses an assignment page, which provides more privacy from the prying eyes at the ATF.  A schedule of assets requires you to provide a full list of firearms and accessories owned by the trust whenever you submit a Form 1 or Form 4 application to the ATF.

How Long Can My Maine or Massachusetts Gun Trust Continue?  Are Multigenerational NFA Trusts Possible?

A Maine NFA trust can go on forever (a perpetual trust).  A Massachusetts NFA trust can last for several generations. 

What NFA Items Are Legal/Can I Own in Massachusetts?  

In Massachusetts, you can own SBRs, machine guns (if you have a machine gun license or "green card"), factory manufactured short barreled shotguns*, AOWs and destructive devices.  Only law enforcement personnel (while acting in their official capacity) may possess suppressors.

The most common NFA item for a Massachusetts gun owner to make/acquire with an NFA trust is an SBR.  In fact, due in large part to the restrictions imposed by the Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban, the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, and the Executive Office of Public Safety, Massachusetts residents generally make their own SBRs.  Yes, that's right: you can still build an SBR in Massachusetts!  See our note below regarding short barreled shotguns. 

Note that the effect of Maura Healey's decree unilaterally expanding the scope of the Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban has complicated the process for making SBRs.  Our NFA trusts have been used by countless clients in Massachusetts to receive their SBR tax stamp.  If you have questions about what can and can't be done, please contact us

*The Massachusetts Attorney General has asserted that short barreled shotguns are actually handguns. Unfortunately, the ATF is presently accepting this interpretation. For this reason, unless and until a short barreled shotgun is added to the EOPS roster and complies with the Massachusetts Attorney General's additional regulations (or comes to a different conclusion), short barreled shotguns are effectively prohibited in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts residents who have a close friend or family member in Maine or New Hampshire, can appoint that friend or family member as a trustee, who can acquire suppressors on behalf of the NFA trust, and which can be used and enjoyed by trustees in Maine or New Hampshire. Keep in mind: the suppressor cannot enter Massachusetts, however.

What NFA Items Are Legal/Can I Own in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont?

In Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, all NFA items are legal (silencers/suppressors, SBRs, short barreled shotguns, machine guns, Destructive Devices, and AOWs). Hunting with a suppressor is now legal in Maine, subject to purchase of an additional permit.

My Primary Residence is in Massachusetts, but I have a Summer Home in New Hampshire (or Maine).  Can I Legally Acquire NFA Items or Other Firearms While Visiting My Summer Home?

Yes!  If you have a second home in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont (or another state), you are in effect, a resident of two states.  This means that while visiting your second home, you may legally acquire firearms, including NFA items in that state.  However, you may not bring any firearms into Massachusetts unless they are legal for you to possess them there.

See Question 2 in the NOTICES, INSTRUCTIONS, AND DEFINITIONS Section of Form 4473:

If the transferee/buyer is a member of the Armed Forces on active duty, his/her State of residence is the State in which his/her permanent duty station is located. If the service member is acquiring a firearm in a State where his/her permanent duty station is located, but resides in a different State, the transferee/buyer must list both his/her permanent duty station address and his/her residence address in response to question 2. If the transferee/buyer has two States of residence, the transferee/ buyer should list his/her current residence address in response to question 2 (e.g., if the transferee/buyer is purchasing a firearm while staying at his/her weekend home in State X, he/she should list the address in State X in response to question 2).

Do you support Gun Rights Organizations?

Absolutely! We actively support the GOAL, Commonwealth 2A, Gun Owners of Maine, and the NRA – both financially as well as with pro bono legal services.

What's the Difference Between a Gun Trust, an NFA Trust, and an NFA Gun Trust?

In general, there are no differences and we use these terms interchangeably. Keep in mind, however, that some online DIY gun trust providers or gun trust lawyers in Maine, Massachusetts, and elsewhere provide gun trusts that are only designed to own NFA items.

Are NFA Trusts Similar to Conventional Trusts?  How Are they Different?

Similarities Between Gun Trusts and Traditional Trusts

Gun trusts are similar in some respects to conventional estate planning trusts. For instance, as with conventional trusts, an NFA trust will hold property subject to certain terms and conditions.  And there will also be a settlor (also called a “donor” or “grantor”), who donates property to the trust; one or more trustees, who will act on behalf of the trust; and one or more beneficiaries of the gun trust, who will ultimately receive the assets held by the trust or the proceeds of their sale. 

Additionally, a gun trust can be either revocable (meaning it can be revoked or amended) or irrevocable (meaning it cannot be revoked or amended).  Neither Massachusetts NFA gun trusts nor Maine NFA gun trusts require any registration, disclosure or public filings. The only people who need to know about your trust are those you choose. That’s where the similarities between gun trusts and conventional trusts end.

How Gun Trusts Are Different: The Importance of Federal and State Gun Laws

Unlike conventional trusts, a gun trust is designed specifically for the complex regulatory issues involved in possessing, owning, and transporting NFA items such as SBRs and suppressors. A good NFA trust will address NFA regulations as well as those imposed by local and state law. 

Our Massachusetts NFA trusts are specifically designed to account for the complexities of Massachusetts firearms law.  This is critical, as violation of the NFA or state or local law can be punished severely.  For instance, violation of the NFA can result in fines of up to $250,000, forfeiture of all firearms weapons and up to 10 years in prison.

A high-quality gun trust drafted by an experienced Maine/Massachusetts gun trust lawyer will contain provisions that grant trustees of the NFA trust the authority they need to use and enjoy the NFA Trust’s property and to properly administer the NFA Trust – but also protect the rights of the settlor and the beneficiaries.  Such a trust will also provide instructions on dealing with both routine and unanticipated events. Unlike assets held by conventional trusts, the sale or distribution of firearms held by a gun trust requires compliance with state and federal law, and therefore requires careful thought and planning.

Choosing an experienced NFA trust attorney is even more important for gun owners in Massachusetts. This is because Massachusetts gun laws are complex and full of ambiguities.  At Red Dog Legal, we can help you navigate ambiguities such as Form FA-10 reporting, the Massachusetts Assault Weapon’s Ban or “AWB” and licensing matters.  Simply put: Jeff Bussell at Red Dog Legal is your go-to Maine or Massachusetts gun trust lawyer.

What is a Gun or NFA Trust?

Gun trusts go by various names, including "NFA trusts" and "firearms trusts".  Whatever you choose to call it, a gun trust is a legal document designed for acquiring and holding legal title to firearms.  Most gun trusts are designed to hold title to weapons regulated by the National Firearms Act (or “NFA” for short).  Some gun trusts are designed to also hold title to non-NFA firearms, or Title I firearms.  The gun trusts offered by Red Dog Legal may be used for both NFA items and non-NFA firearms.  See the FAQ below for a list of NFA items that are legal in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Weapons regulated by the NFA go by various names such as “NFA Items”, “NFA Firearms”, “Title II Firearms” or “Class 3 Firearms”, and include suppressors (known as “silencers” in the NFA), short barreled rifles (or “SBRs”), short barreled shotguns ("SBSs"), machine guns, destructive devices, and “any other weapon” (“AOW”).

What Are the Benefits of an NFA Gun Trust?

If one uses a gun Trust to acquire an NFA Firearm, the gun trust will purchase and hold title to the firearm. Using a gun trust to acquire NFA Items, rather that acquiring them as an individual has many advantages, including:

  1. Sharing of NFA Items

Using an NFA gun trust, you can appoint other trustees who can lawfully possess firearms held by the trust. In contrast, if you own a Title II Firearm individually, only you, as the registered owner of that Title II Firearm, may lawfully possess that firearm.

  1. Estate Planning

Using a gun trust, you can control who will receive your firearms when you die, or provide that the NFA trust shall continue to operate for as long state law will allow.  A trust can last generations in Massachusetts and indefinitely in Maine or New Hampshire. A qualified Maine or Massachusetts NFA Gun Trust lawyer can draft a comprehensive multigenerational NFA trust that can serve as a legacy for your family's enjoyment and security for generations to come.

  1. Contingency Planning

Are you concerned about who will store your firearms if you become incapacitated or legally prohibited from owning guns?  A gun trust can allow you to plan for these sorts of events.  You will also have the option to add one or more trustees (in multiple states) who are knowledgeable about firearms, including NFA Items, who can see to it that your firearms are properly cared for, stored, or transferred in compliance with state and federal law.

Do you have other questions about creating a Maine or Massachusetts gun trust? Red Dog Legal offers FREE consultations. For more information, please call Red Dog Legal at (207) 206-0287, send us an email or use our Contact Form.

RATES

NFA Trust Prices (including Legal Support)

Maine —$325*

Massachusetts —$375*

New Hampshire (w/o co-counsel fee)—$175**

Vermont, etc. (w/o co-counsel fee)—$175**

All of the above prices include legal guidance and support. 

*Summer Special: From now until September 1st, you can save $25 off these prices.  Please mention the "Summer Special" when you first contact us.

**These trusts are provided to residents of states other than Maine or Massachusetts at a lower price to enable clients to have a local lawyer review them.  

We also price match any fees charged by licensed Maine or Massachusetts attorneys.